Original posting date: August 3rd, 2011
The Dangers of Time Warnings
Many test preparation companies—whether for the LSAT, bar exam, or other standardized test—provide proctors who call out or write on the board how much time is left in a given section of the test. These proctors are a pretty standard part of the landscape for diagnostic tests and timed practice exams. Unfortunately, students tend to learn to rely on these warnings, and that’s dangerous, because there might be no such warning on test day.
Thus, while professionalism may argue in favor of test prep companies providing this service, students must heed the following advice.
On the actual day of the test—LSAT, bar exam, MPRE, SAT, or whatever—, you cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot rely upon the test proctors to keep track of time for you.
If these employees of the given test-maker make a mistake and forget to warn you that there are “five minutes remaining” or “thirty seconds remaining,” you will get no sympathy from the test-makers themselves. In other words, you will not be able to get additional points on the test for this oversight.
The Bottom Line
If you lose points that you could have gotten if you’d been apprised of the time remaining, those points are lost for good. Don’t take that risk. ALWAYS keep track of the time yourself, and be sure to get in the habit of doing so by practicing accordingly.